The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations yesterday announced the recipients of more than $650,000 in grant money aimed at helping Hawaii’s small businesses.

The money will help fund training programs for small businesses in industries ranging from hospitality to agriculture. About 90 percent of Hawaii’s business community is made up of small businesses.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers received more than $70,000 for workforce training.

Screen shot of website

“Too often small businesses lack the ability to provide training for their workers, which impedes their ability to both remain viable and grow,” said DLlR Director Dwight Takamine in a press release. “These grants will assist small businesses and their workers by providing training that would otherwise not be available.”

Here’s the list of awardees from the press release:

Retail Merchants of Hawaii ($125,000) – RHM will develop a series of trainings that focuses on 1) Talent Management (management/staff retention), and 2) Business Optimization (improvement of operations through development of business plans, proper training of employees to understand how to best provide service, focus of sales management and financial/pricing/loss prevention and risk management).

Japan Hawaii Travel Association ($112,500) – JHTA will develop a five-component training curriculum that addresses service expectations of Japanese visitors. JHTA has contracted with LearningBiz to develop the curriculum and deliver the training statewide. Currently, there is no curriculum available for training.

Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association ($125,000) – NaHHA will deliver their community specific Ola Hawaii hospitality and leadership curriculum, which is culturally based, for communities who have training access challenges due to location or cost prohibitive barriers (South Shore Kauai, Kaneohe, Hana Maui and North Hawaii were initially identified).

Hawaii Island Workforce and Economic Development Ohana, Inc. ($117,502) – HIWEDO will develop technical training modules for small businesses to learn how to gain more exposure on the internet.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers ($70,886) – HTFG will develop and establish a Master Food Preserver certificate pilot program. This program will teach participants to develop and safely preserve value-added products that use undersold and underutilized produce to increase capacity and income for small agribusinesses. The intent is the establishment of a program that can be offered statewide.

Service Corps of Retired Executives Association ($94,000) – SCORE HAWAII will provide business owners, members of management and key personnel a comprehensive business training program that covers successfully leading and operating a business. The trainings and mentoring for both for-profit and non-profits will be led by both active and retired business executives as well as entrepreneurs.

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